Maximizing Meetings with Notes

Maximize meetings by determining whether you should take notes, what you need from them, and your general tendencies.

Understanding Meeting Context

  • Adjust your notes based on the type of meeting it is:
    • Information sharing (coffee chat, 1:1)
    • Status update (mentor meeting, follow-up, 1:1)
    • Decision making (cross-team collaboration)
    • Problem solving (brainstorming chat)
    • Innovation (creative chat)
    • Team building (group chat, virtual happy hour)
    • Learning (workshop, personal enrichment)
    • Networking (recruiter event, conference)
    • Chance encounter (travel, serendipity)
  • Determine what you will need as a result:
    • General meeting notes for future reference
    • General notes on a specific person you want to keep in touch with
    • To-do list of action items
    • Follow-up by reaching out or being helpful


Once you know whether to take notes and what the context is, know thyself!

  • Are you the type of person who wants to log everything obsessively and has a Moleskine full of notes?
  • Are you someone who likes to take notes on your phone?
  • Have trouble staying present while taking notes?
    • Scribble very brief notes after the meeting is over- just enough to be useful to you!
      • Tag action items, remember to follow through, or classify anything else important that you need for future reference.
    • See more on Writing Useful Notes.

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